Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney as well as a Will?
In your Will you make provisions for your family and loved ones to be protected when you are no longer around. Taking this important step will give you peace of mind that they will be financially protected when you can no longer support them.
However, you and your family may also encounter situations where planning financial and other affairs will become difficult if you are unable to take part in the decision-making through loss of mental capacity. People of any age can lose capacity as a result of accident or illness and they will need someone to deal with their affairs for them. It is therefore appropriate for anyone to have a Lasting Power of Attorney to protect you when you need it.
What are the types and use of Lasting Powers of Attorney?
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney –Property and Financial Affairs, and Health and Welfare. You can make either or both of them. Financial matters may involve simply paying your bills to making investments decisions such as arranging a life assurance policy. Decisions may also relate to personal or medical care such as choosing what medical treatment you have or where you will live. It is most relevant that you ask yourself who you would like to make those decisions in the event of you losing mental capacity and appoint that person as your attorney to make those decisions for you. More than one attorney can be appointed.
Can my attorney act on my behalf if I have mental capacity?
You can choose whether your attorney for financial affairs can act both when you have mental capacity and also in the event of you losing mental capacity. However your attorney for health matters can only act if you lack mental capacity.
It is important to note that an attorney appointed under an ordinary Power of Attorney cannot continue to act if you lose mental capacity.
What happens if no attorney is appointed?
If you lose mental capacity your family will not be able to deal with your financial affairs straight away. They will be required to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to deal with your affairs, which is a lengthier and more expensive process than making a Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Choose making your Will – because you care
- Protect your family
- Appoint a guardian for your children
- Appoint your executors
- Safeguard your assets
- Secure your business
- Choose your beneficiaries
- And much more….
It is never too soon to write your Will to protect your assets and the people you love.
Forest Wills & Estate Planning offer a wide range of estate planning services including Inheritance Planning, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax Planning and Estate Administration.
If you leave no Will….. – see more about Intestacy Rules in “Articles”
- Your spouse/civil partner may not inherit all of your estate
- Your partner receives nothing from your estate
- Your assets may pass to relatives you do not like
- Your children may go into care if there are no living parents or relatives to look after them
- Your estate may pay a high Inheritance Tax bill
- Your Will is automatically revoked following your marriage or civil partnership- unless you make provisions in your Will.
Divorce/Dissolution of Civil Partnership
- A Gift in your Will to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner fails following divorce or dissolution of civil partnership.